Artwork by Christopher Pratt,  Study for Ocean Racer & Ocean Racer

Christopher Pratt
Study for Ocean Racer & Ocean Racer

“Study for ‘Ocean Racer’” - pencil & collage on card; signed, titled and dated 1975 along the lower edge; 6.5 x 9 inches

“Ocean Racer” - colour silkscreen; signed, titled, dated “Jan. ‘75” and numbered 17/50 in the lower margin; 15 x 24 inches
6.5 x 9.5 ins ( 16.5 x 24.1 cms ) ( (card); 15 x 24.25 (subject) )

Auction Estimate: $7,500.00$5,500.00 - $7,500.00

Price Realized $10,200.00
Sale date: November 22nd 2021

Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto
Collection of the artist
Acquired directly from the artist by the present Private Collector, Newfoundland & Labrador
“Christopher Pratt: A Retrospective”, Vancouver Art Gallery, November 23 – January 26, 1985 (also shown at The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Memorial University Gallery, St. John’s; and Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax)
David P. Silcox & Meriké Weiler, “Christopher Pratt”, Scarborough, Ontario, 1982, Study for Ocean Racer reproduced page 118
Joyce Zemans, “Christopher Pratt: A Retrospective” [exhibition catalogue], Vancouver Art Gallery, 1985, “Study for Ocean Racer” reproduced page 62 and on the front cover
Christopher Pratt has always believed that there is an immense presence in ordinariness. He depicted his everyday surroundings in the Maritimes, often in a reductive or magnified view. In “Ocean Racer”, Pratt has zoomed in on the geometric, nearly abstract quality of a sail, mast and ropes of a racing sailboat. Executed in muted greys and blues, the composition is calming and timeless.

Discussing “Ocean Racer” in the 1985 Christopher Pratt retrospective catalogue, Joyce Zemans speaks to the artist’s compositional progress from his studies to the silkscreen noting that Pratt’s process of working from “...abstracted collages rather than from a photograph or drawing based on real life, Pratt finds in the relationships of angles, planes, and colours, a design that captures not a fleeting moment but his experience of sailing. He comprehends the special power of every line and the importance of its placement in the composition. And like Georgia O’Keefe, he understands the artist’s task ‘to fill a space beautifully’.”

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Christopher Pratt

Christopher Pratt was born in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1935, but spent many boyhood summers in the Bay Roberts area where he now maintains a studio. He moved to New Brunswick in 1953 to attend Mount Allison University, trying several degree programs including biology and medicine. However, with the encouragement of instructors Alex Colville and Lawren Harris Jr. Pratt decided on fine arts.

It was at Mount Allison that he met Mary West. The couple married in 1957, then moved to Scotland where Pratt attended the Glasgow School of Art. Two years later, they returned to Mount Allison University, Sackville, where Pratt completed his fine arts degree. In 1961, Pratt accepted the position of curator at the newly opened Memorial University Art Gallery in St. John's. He remained at the gallery for two and a half years before deciding to concentrate on his painting full-time, moving his family to Salmonier, Newfoundland. Pratt has become one of Canada's best known and most respected artists, known for both meticulous serigraph prints and for powerfully evocative paintings.

In 1980, Pratt designed the Newfoundland flag. He was named a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1983 and has a number of honorary degrees from Canadian universities. Three books about Pratt are: Christopher Pratt; The Prints of Christopher Pratt: 1958-1991 and Christopher Pratt: Personal Reflections on a Life in Art. These feature reproductions of many of his works. Pratt's work is part of private and public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University and the Vancouver Art Gallery.